TALLINN - The Estonian Ministry of Rural Affairs is earmarking an additional 10 million euros in the 2023 state budget for ensuring food security and preserving the competitiveness of agriculture in order to ensure the sustainability of the country's food industry both in ordinary and crisis situations, Minister of Rural Affairs Urmas Kruuse told the finance committee of the parliament.
"Just like we must ourselves be the biggest players in our state in the areas of culture, education and national defense, the same also applies to food production, because after all, whatever the activity or capability, it is people who ensure them, and people have to eat. Food is not something to be taken for granted in a crisis situation and, as the war in Ukraine has confirmed, it is an important part of the foundation of national defense," Kruuse said in a press release.
Estonia can currently easily cover its needs with its own food production, for example, its dairy, cereal and fish production greatly exceed domestic consumption.
"There is definitely room for improvement in the security of food supply and functioning of supply chains; the production of food as an essential good and its availability must continue also in a crisis situation. To this end, we're reviewing our action plans for power outages, for example, as well as creating capacities for reducing the impact of crisis situations through infrastructure that enables continued production and supply," the minister said, commenting on activities aimed at developing food security.
In addition to improving food security, the Ministry of Rural Affairs is allocating an additional 400,000 euros from the 2023 state budget to fostering the use of organic raw material in education establishments to contribute to teaching healthy and sustainable consumption to young people. 1.7 million euros will be allocated for increasing research and development capability and thereby for improving security of operations in food production and for supporting the green transition.